It’s often suggested that people upgrade certain features before listing their homes on the market. But, every upgrade comes at a price, so it’s important to learn which upgrades are worth making, and which should be left for the buyers. One upgrade that often comes up is windows, but is it really worth it to replace windows before listing a home?
Why Are Replacement Windows Needed?
First, it’s helpful to understand why replacement windows are needed. Older windows tend to let air escape, and unlike newer energy efficient windows, they are not designed to block UV rays that heat up the home. This means your heating and cooling system will have to work harder to keep the home at a comfortable temperature, which will drive up energy bills.
Because so many buyers are looking for energy efficient homes, you may think that replacing the windows before putting it on the market will make your home more appealing. But is that really true?
Cost of Replacement Windows
Buyers are interested in green features that will help them save money, so to determine whether you should replace their windows, take a look at the cost vs. the savings. The cost of replacement windows will depend on what type of windows and how many windows you have in your home.
A standard window will cost around $600 with installation fees, but if you have a wood window, you’ll probably spend closer to $900 per window. Additionally, if you need the existing window and frame removed prior to installing the new window, you will have to add on about $100 per window to the total cost. Remember, this is per window. If you have an average-sized single family home, there are probably around 10 windows total, which will bring the total cost of replacement windows to between $7,000-10,000.
If you replace your windows, it’s estimated you can save around 15% per month on your electric bill. This means if you spends an average of $100 per month on electricity, new windows will help you reduce this bill to about $85 per month, for a total savings of $15 per month, or $180 per year.
Even if the windows only set you back $7,000, which is on the lower end of the price scale, it would take you nearly 39 years to get a return on the windows.
Based on these calculations, replacing windows prior to listing a home is not necessary. The cost is too high, and the payoff is not large enough to significantly increase the value of your home. However, there are smaller window upgrades that can help increase a home’s energy efficiency, and therefore its value.
Look around the perimeter of the window to see if you spot any signs of cracked or missing caulking. If so, apply a fresh layer of caulk to seal air leaks. This is an easy way to fix this problem without breaking the bank. You should also consider applying an energy efficient film to windows that will block out UV rays and prevent them from heating up the home. This is much less expensive than installing new windows, and it still improves the home’s energy efficiency.